Frequently Asked Questions about the Transition to the New CMS

  • Have a question about the transition to the CMS? You’re not alone. Here are the answers to the questions we get asked most frequently.

    What is a CMS?

    CMS stands for Content Management System. In brief, a website run by a CMS separates the content (the words and pictures) from the look and feel of the site. When you are using a CMS, you don't have to worry about page layout, colors, fonts, etc.—the CMS takes care of that for you. That gives us a more consistent, easy-to-navigate site and gives you the freedom to concentrate on your own content.

    When are we going to make the transition?

    Since October 12, we have had the new site up in preview mode. We are also now opening up the back end of the CMS, so departments can start building their new sites.

    How can I start building my site on the new IUP website?

    Heads of departments, offices, programs, and other entities—which we’ll call units—at IUP are now invited to register their websites and designate who from their areas will serve as content authors and approvers.

    After your site has been registered, the Web Team will create an inventory of the content on your current site, to help you figure out where to place that content on the new site.

    At that point, you will also be invited to register for training, which will be offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of the Fall 2007 semester. Confident self-starters may begin working immediately after their sites are registered and their content inventories are created. The Web Team’s site has elaborate how-to documentation for self-starters, as well as those who have gone through training, to use to create their sites.

    Who should serve as the content author(s) for my unit’s site?

    In a recent e-mail to the IUP community, the Web Team invited heads of departments, offices, programs, and other units to register their websites and designate who from their areas will serve as content authors and approvers.

    A content author is a person who enters information into a unit’s website. Please don’t be confused by the term “author.” In this case, it does not necessarily mean that the person writes the content. Any authorized person or people in your unit can pen content for your website. They can even type it into a word-processing file that can be transferred to the web database by another person—the content author.

    While the Ektron web-creation tool is more user friendly than many, it is not necessarily easy to use. Learning and mastering Ektron is a time-consuming process. And because websites are a growing source of information, your unit’s website needs to be kept up to date. The content author who will have the most success is the one who uses the system frequently. It is a commitment.

    When deciding who in your unit should serve as the content author(s), consider someone who fits the following description:

    • Is in the office frequently and has access to the Internet
    • Knows what’s going on in the department, office, etc. (Your unit’s website should contain news and events as well as information about programs and services.)
    • Is capable, somewhat technically savvy, and a good learner
    • Has the time to devote to learning the system and updating the website daily, weekly, or monthly, as needed
    • Ideally, can serve in the role long-term

    Who should serve as the content approver(s) for my unit’s site?

    In a recent e-mail to the IUP community, the Web Team invited heads of departments, offices, programs, and other units to register their websites and designate who from their areas will serve as content authors and approvers.

    The content approver, as the name suggests, is the person who approves content for your unit’s website. The content approver is the second person in Ektron’s approval chain, called workflow. After the content author enters the information, he or she submits it to the content approver. The approver reviews the submitted content for accuracy, clarity, appropriateness, etc. He or she may reject the content and send it back to the author to adjust and resubmit, approve the content as is, or edit and approve the content. After the content approver approves the content, he or she submits it to the web editor for publishing.

    Because the content approver is the final person from the unit to review and authorize the content, a logical choice for the role is the head of a department, office, program, or other unit, or a person that unit head designates.

    It is expected that some units will designate the same person as author and approver.

    What topics will the training sessions cover?

    During the training session, site maintainers will first go over a printed inventory of the content on their current website and determine where on the new site the content should be placed. One of the goals of the new website is to standardize where content can be found on each unit site. Going over the content inventory and reorganizing it as necessary are crucial to that end.

    By the time you go through training, a base site containing several pages will already be created for you. During training, you will learn how to copy content from your current site to the new site, how to create and edit content on the new site, how to send your content through the workflow  for publishing on the live site, how to use the browser to view content changes you have made, how to add content to the menu, how to find help through the Web Team website, and other basics of site creation.

    How do I register for training?

    After you have registered your website, the Web Team will contact you to schedule training. You may not be scheduled right away—training will be organized according to where on the website a unit’s content appears and which units (departments, offices, programs, etc.) have registered their sites so far. But please know that we will schedule you for training as quickly as possible.

    Training sessions will be offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of the Fall 2007 semester at Suites on Grant Lower, Suite G41, and Robertshaw, Room 43.

    Do I need to go through training?

    Unless you are going to be taking care of upper-structure pages, training is not mandatory; it is designed to help you get started and feel comfortable using the Ektron software and content management system. It also provides direct contact with members of the Web Team who are familiar with the product.

    However, you are welcome to forgo training and get to work after you have registered your site, reviewed your content inventory, and planned how to organize your content on the new site. The Web Team has elaborate how-to documentation on getting your website started, creating and editing content, and submitting content for publishing on the live site.